March 26, 2007

Weekly Round-Up

From the Pre-Blog Archives

  1. SAMURAI SHARK ($10) is a handheld device for instantly sharpening knives, shears and other blades. The offer is buy one, get one free (just pay S&H). The bonus is two Samurai Shears (just pay S&H). This is a Billy Mays commercial. Comments: This is unlikely to succeed because it's a crowded category with lots of similar solutions. There is nothing unique about this particular product.
  3. PERFECT PUFFS ($19.95) is another pan with cups in it that makes Munchkin-size pancakes. You can also pour any other type of batter into the pan and make corn bread, filled desserts, etc. The offer includes 25 flipping sticks and a recipe book. This is an ARM product. The competitive item is marketed by a company called Harvest Trading Group. Comments: One of these items is going to succeed, despite the fact that neither solves a problem. If one does, we'll know that coolness/wow factor can overcome the lack of a problem.
  5. CUISINART PREP EXPRESS (4 pay, $24.99) is Cuisinart's version of the electric Salad Shooter. The offer includes three different drums for different cutting styles. The bonuses are a recipe guide and prep board/serving tray. Comments: This is unlikely to succeed in a big way since Salad Shooter has had the near identical product on the market for some time. And the price is definitely wrong, Bob.
  7. ANYLOCK ($19.95) is a set of extra-durable storage bags that comes with storage rods that can be used on any bag and won't leak. The offer includes eight super-size bags with four locking rods, eight large bags with four rods, and eight medium bags with four rods. The bonuses are five microwave bags, a beverage bag that pours, a CoolLock pouch and lanyard, and a CoolLock bag. Comments: This item is a bomb. It doesn't have a great point of difference since many Zip-Loc style bags make the same claims and work quite well. As a result, leakage isn't a widely perceived problem.
  9. WARDROBE WONDERS ($14.99) is a set of plastic tiles for keeping the piles of clothes in your closet organized. You put the tiles in between the folded clothes. Then, when you pull something out from the middle of the pile, it slides out easily without wrecking the rest of the pile. The offer is buy six, get six free. The bonuses are additional units for free whenever you want them, just pay S&H, a Wonder Hanger that holds eight pairs of pants, and a Wonder Belt Holder.

    Comments: This item is also a bomb. It has three strikes against it. First, how many people have open shelves in their closets and stack clothes there vs. putting them in a drawer? I'd wager it isn't most people. Second, what's the problem? Tumbling stacks of clothes? Weak! Third, the spot attempts to convince the viewer that using these plastic tiles will somehow dramatically increase closet space, but that isn't very believable. Neither is the idea that it grips on one side and slides smoothly on the other.
  11. SOAPJET ($19.95) is the "handheld car wash," a hose attachment that acts as a power nozzle and also dispenses soap. The offer includes a dual-sided wash mitt and detailing guide. The bonuses are micro-fiber drying towels and a free lifetime supply of SoapJet car wash solution. Comments: This product is unlikely to succeed. First, it's been done before in various forms, and sells in catalog for a cheaper price. Two, it's technically not mass market since people in apartments, condos and townhouses can't wash their car at home. Third, it's seasonal. Fourth, it doesn't solve a problem. There are plenty of good-enough solutions for washing your car, and few people need yet another power nozzle for their hose.
  13. SONIC SCRUBBER ($19.99) is a larger version of a sonic toothbrush designed for scrubbing tile and other areas of the bathroom. The offer includes five different heads. The bonus is a second one for the kitchen free, just pay S&H. This is a Sullivan Productions commercial, and Sully is the spokesman. Comments: This item is unlikely to succeed for two reasons: It's hard to understand, and it lacks credibility. On the first point, the whole sonic thing is hard to demo, and I was left wondering whether this thing was spinning or vibrating or what. Perhaps enough people will connect this with a sonic toothbrush to overcome this shortcoming, but that leads to a second problem. Are we supposed to believe that a sonic toothbrush, which is designed to be delicate on your teeth and gums, is going to be powerful enough to clean dirty grout? This thing is battery powered, not gasoline powered!
  15. SIMONIZ LIQUID DIAMOND ($19.95) is a spray-on car polish. The offer includes a 32-oz bottle with a motorized sprayer and three water-activated car wash mitts. The bonus is a Turbo Vac car vac free, just pay S&H. This is a Billy Mays commercial. Comments: Old idea. Great demos. But old idea. I say it bombs.
  17. GEORGE WASHINGTON COINS ($9.95) is a mounted, two-piece set of uncirculated George Washington $1 coins. The offer includes a certificate of authenticity and fact card. Comments: This is the least exciting of the coins to be released, and only serious coin collectors will be interested. Bomb.